St. Louis residents who are in the armed forces can be deployed suddenly and without much notice. Military personnel usually go alone, leaving family behind. After reporting for deployment, some soldiers may return with severe injuries that can interfere with their day-to-day lives and can limit work opportunities.
The Veterans Administration takes care of veterans’ issues and can help veterans find employment. Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, or VRCs, and Employment Coordinators, or ECs, help veterans with service-related disabilities find meaningful careers. VRCs offer job counseling to veterans, help veterans connect to VA services that are specific to their needs and can connect veterans with disabilities to training or other opportunities to help find employment.
If a disabled veteran is entitled to Vocational Rehabilitation benefits, he or she will have an opportunity to work with a VRC to help develop a personalized rehabilitation plan using one of five tracks. Those five tracks are Reemployment, Rapid Access to Employment, Self-employment, Employment Through Long-Term Services and Independent Living.
In the Reemployment track the VRC will determine if a veteran can return to work with a former employer. Rapid Access to Employment helps veterans who are ready to work find, apply for and secure suitable jobs. Veterans on the Self-employment track can get help from VRCs to analyze and develop a business plan as well as get required training.
In the Employment Through Long-Term Services track, VRCs help veterans with service-related disabilities gain additional skills and training through various programs. Veterans who cannot return to work due to their service-related disabilities can follow the Independent Living track and receive help and support to lead a fulfilling and independent life.
In addition to benefits available through the VA, disabled veterans may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Those who are interested may wish to consult a law firm that practices in this area to find out if they may be eligible.
Source: Benefits.VA.gov, “VocRehab Veteran Employment Tracks,” Accessed on Feb. 13, 2015